Can anti-psychotic drugs treat anorexia?

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A new study to pilot the effectiveness of anti-psychotic drugs in the treatment of anorexia is about to commence at the University of Melbourne’s ORYGEN Research Centre.

The study, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Royal Melbourne Hospital, will investigate the usefulness of the drug Quetiapine in treating anorexia.

Lead researcher, Dr. Andrew Court, says, “Eating disorders are serious illnesses that have a significant impact on people’s lives. In fact, anorexia has the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric disorders.”

Clinical Psychologist, Claudia Mulder, who is leading the study with Dr Court says, “One of the difficulties in providing treatment for anorexia is the lack of clear knowledge about which treatments are effective.”

Quetiapine is an anti-psychotic medication that has proved useful in the treatment of illnesses in which patients have strongly held irrational beliefs or delusions.

The researchers will assess whether the medication will also assist the recovery of young people with severe anorexia by providing relief from their thoughts and preoccupations.

The researchers aim to recruit 40 patients with anorexia for the study with the research being conducted at the Eating Disorders Clinic at the University of Melbourne’s ORYGEN Research Centre.

ORYGEN Research Centre is responsible for the enactment of a wide range of studies investigating the onset of serious mental disorders in young people and the development of effective treatments and models of service delivery.

The researchers are currently recruiting participants for the study. Any young people with anorexia or their family members can contact Melissa Boasman on (03) 9342 2897 or [email protected] for more information.

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